lay formation

Lay Formation and RCIA

Our diocesan Lay Formation ministry provides education and formation opportunities within our diocese to support lay women and men in living out their lay vocation both in the world and within the Church. Our diocesan RCIA ministry provides ongoing communication and support for those working in Christian initiation ministry in our diocese.

Current Programs

Institute of Lay Formation

The diocesan Institute of Lay Formation is a program and process of prayer, study, and reflection on the Catholic Faith, on the life of discipleship and witness in the world, and on service and ministry within the Church. The Institute has three aspects of its formation:

  • Catechesis (Intellectual Formation)
  • Lay Leadership (Human and Pastoral Formation)
  • Prayer and Reflection (Spiritual Formation)

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which adults are prepared and formed for initiation and entrance into the Catholic Church.  The RCIA process “is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts” (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults #1).  Our diocesan RCIA ministry works to provide ongoing communication and support for those working in Christian initiation ministry in the parishes and church institutions of our diocese.

Diocesan Ministry Days

Our diocesan “Ministry Days” are an annual gathering for our clergy, parish staff and other lay leaders/volunteers to come together for prayer, sharing, learning, and planning relating to our common ministry here in southern Minnesota. 

Our diocesan Ministry Days will be held on Monday-Tuesday, June 15-16, at St. Mary’s University in Winona. The tentative title for the gathering is, “New Wine into New Wineskins: Moving from ‘What?’ to ‘How?’ in Missionary Discipleship.” Our lead presenter and facilitator will be Mr. Rich Curran, Founder and Executive Director of Parish Success Group. Our upcoming deanery workshops on missionary discipleship will offer additional background and detail regarding these days. For questions or more information, please contact Todd Graff, Director of Lay Formation and RCIA, at tgraff@dowr.org / 507-858-1270. 

Staff

Todd Graff.  I have been blessed and privileged to serve in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester for the past 29 years. Originally, I worked with Catholic Charities to provide leadership and service for our diocese in giving witness to and living out the church's social mission and ministry in southern Minnesota. Since 1999, I have directed the programs and activities of the diocese relating to lay formation and, since the spring of 2017, to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).  In this role, I strive to accompany lay women and men in the diocese as they seek to live out their Christian vocation in the world more deeply, and to guide and prepare them for more faithful and effective lay leadership in the Church.  My greatest source of joy and my primary vocation is to be a husband to my wife, Laurie, and a father to our six children – Isaac, Jesse, Nathan, Samuel, Viva, and Hannah.

Camille Withrow. I am so grateful for the six years I have worked for the diocese serving primarily the Offices of Catholic Schools, Faith Formation, and RCIA. To be able to work with the wonderful, faithful, and dedicated people of our diocese is a great joy and blessing for me. I moved to Minnesota from New Jersey nine years ago to finish my Bachelor’s degree at Minnesota State University - Mankato. Shortly after moving, I met my husband, Grant, while going through RCIA at a parish in the Twin Cities area. Grant became my RCIA sponsor, and has continued to accompany me on my faith journey since. We have two daughters, Eliana and Gianna Faustina, and a son, Cormac, who light up our lives and bring us such happiness.

Paula Watembach currently serves at the Secretary for Lay Formation.

Todd Graff

Director of Lay Formation and RCIA

55 W. Sanborn Street
PO Box 588
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (507) 858-1270
Fax: (507) 454-8106
Email: tgraff@dowr.org

 

Camille Withrow

Program Associate for RCIA

55 W. Sanborn Street
PO Box 588
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (507) 858-1271
Fax: (507) 454-8106
Email: cwithrow@dowr.org

 

Paula Watembach

Secretary for Lay Formation

55 W. Sanborn Street
PO Box 588
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (507) 858-1266
Fax: (507) 454-8106
Email: pwatembach@dowr.org